Hope spreads around Ferguson

Healing Ferguson: Acts of kindness to help a ... 02:46

There's hope spreading around Ferguson, Missouri, with many in the community refusing to let the demonstrations and violence of earlier in the week affect their holiday weekend. They're channeling protests over the Michael Brown case into positive energy, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Strasssmann.

Cathy Daniels is known as "Mama Cat." The 51 year-old Navy wife was up at 1 a.m. Thanksgiving morning to cook dinner for her large, extended family -- the hundreds of Ferguson protesters she adopted as her own two months ago.

"This is a labor of love for real," Daniels said. "Food is a strengthener, so when I can feed my family and they're strong, we are going to be ready for the fight."

She normally cooks for them on Sundays. But this dinner was special for two reasons -- Thanksgiving, and the first "family" meal since Ferguson erupted Monday night.

"Our souls are bruised but it's not broken. And it's not a black thing. It's not a white thing. It's not Hispanic, Asian. It's all of us together," she said.

In Ferguson's scarred downtown, Darcy Edwin and her husband Eddie spent Thanksgiving morning painting hope onto the boarded-up reminders of a terrible week.

"It's a symbol of unity and strength for Ferguson," Edwin said, painting boards over broken windows. "I couldn't think of a better way to spend Thanksgiving."

Steve Moore was serving up hope at his Celebrity Soul Food restaurant. His Thanksgiving meal was free for any riot victim.

"It's very important to me, because I've also been victimized," Moore said. "I went from 100 percent of business all the way down to 20 percent of business, and it's just important to let people know that there is hope."

Moore had 18 employees on August 9, the day Michael Brown was killed. Now he has six.

"My community is very important to me, because when they're feeling pain, I'm feeling pain," he said.

Mama Cat's family dinner was also about the love. Dozens of protesters filed in for her Thanksgiving dinner: turkey and collard greens, sweet potato pie and peach cobbler.

"I love the idea of serving them," she said. "We are going to have a wonderful Thanksgiving as a family."

Their next family reunion will be on the streets of Ferguson.